Open space in Flanders is scarce. Yet, the region has to make room to produce renewable energy. The software programme Energy Atlas, developed by VITO in 2014, shows where room is available.
The new software programme grew from the European LIFE+ project WEISS. Within the project, VITO and the Flemish Environment Company (VMM) developed an information system to chart the run-off of polluted substances to surface water. The tool was also turned into an online geoplatform.
WEISS provides the digital structure for the Energy Atlas, a computerised model that charts locations for renewable energy in Flanders. The model shows where existing installations for renewable energy in Flanders are located, and where more installations can be built in the future. The combination of spatial maps, localisation of existing energy production centres and technical indications for the construction of new sites creates a layered image. Policy-makers can use the tool to explore scenarios for renewable energy.
The Energy Atlas was created after consulting with the Flemish government and several energy producers. The model can be customised for each client. VITO had already developed custom-made atlases for the provinces of Flemish Brabant and Limburg.